Being pregnant can mean giving up a lot of things, whether it's wine Wednesdays, a morning cup of highly caffeinated coffee, or your favorite pair of jeans. However, one thing you don't have to sacrifice is your fitness routine. "The key is listening to your body, dialing down the intensity as needed, and of course choosing movements that are prenatal-safe," says trainer and co-founder of Tone It Up Katrina Scott, who's currently expecting her first child.
According to Scott, it's all about balance and doing what feels goods. "Move when you can and always put you and your baby's needs first," she instructs. In doing so, you'll be able to reap all the benefits of working out while pregnant in a safe way.
Incorporating a prenatal workout routine into your life when expecting can boost your energy, help you manage stress, improve your posture, and allow you to maintain muscle tone and bone strength, Scott explains. Ahead she breaks down a five-step prenatal workout routine you can do just about anywhere. Here's how it's done.
1. Squat + Reach
1. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, arms forming goal posts at 90-degrees.
2. Lower into a squat, shooting the hips and booty back.
3. At the same time, draw your shoulder blades together as you bring your hands to shoulder height.
4. Next, driving through your heels, press back up to standing and raise your hands overhead.
Targets: Legs, booty, back, and shoulders
Why She Loves It: "Not only does this move work your entire lower half, you'll work your posture muscles, which are key as your body (and balance) changes with that growing bump! Pick up the pace and you'll get some low-intensity cardio, too."
2. Single-Leg Dead-Lift
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, and shift your weight to your left foot, knee softly bent.
2. Lift your right foot a couple inches off the ground. Maintaining a flat back, hinge at the hips as you lower your torso toward the ground.
3. Reach your hands toward your standing foot and extend your right leg straight behind you for counterbalance.
4. Engaging your booty and core, drive through your standing heel to come up to standing.
Targets: Legs and booty
Why She Loves It: "The is a great prenatal-safe exercise to tone your lower body and improve balance—both super important for mamas-to-be."
3. Tricep Push-Up
1. Come down to hands and knees, and position your hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart.
2. With arms straight (elbows not locked out), lower your hips until your body forms a straight line from head to knees.
3. Keeping your elbows tucked close to your body, lower yourself as close to the ground as possible (bump permitting!), and then press back up.
Targets: Arms and chest
Why She Loves It: "This move is perfect for building and maintaining upper body strength so you can carry that baby with ease!"
4. Bird Dog
1. Start on hands and knees with a flat back and long neck.
2. Extend your left arm in front of you as you extend your right leg behind you.
3. Next, bring your right elbow to meet your left knee and then extend them straight again.
4. Repeat on the opposite side.
Targets: Core, arms, and legs
Why She Loves It: "After the first trimester (when exercising on your back is discouraged), this is a great alternative to crunches."
5. Side Plank Leg Lift
1. Begin with your left hand on the ground and shoulder stacked above your hand.
2. Your bottom knee should be bent on the mat and top leg long.
3. Place your right hand on your hip and lift your body into a modified side plank position, forming a straight line from head to thighs.
4. With your core engaged, lift your top leg to hip height, then lower to start position. Repeat on the other side.
Targets: Obliques, thighs, booty, and shoulders
Why She Loves It: "Not all core work has to be off-limits during pregnancy! This modified move safely tones your obliques, while sculpting your thighs and booty, too."
Do 15 repetitions of each move and rest. Repeat the circuit three times for a safe full-body prenatal workout routine.